Superintendent of Police P Murugan said the mob had taken some persons and the woman into captivity and allegedly assaulted them on the suspicion of being braid-choppers. The district police rushed to the spot, rescued the three and shifted the seriously injured woman to a hospital where she died later, he said.
The police used batons and fired a few rounds in the air to disperse the mob, Mr Murugan said. There have been no incidents of chopping of women's braids in the district and reports of such incidents were canards, the officer said.
Jharkhand Chief Minister Raghubar Das has expressed concern over the killing of the woman, terming it as unfortunate. Mr Das appealed to the people of the state not to take law in their hands and not to pay any attention to rumours of braid cutting, an official release said, adding he also directed the administration to take strict action against the guilty.
The chief minister also announced that the government would take care of the deceased's 14-year-old son, the statement said.
In view of rumours of braid chopping, the East Singhbhum district police held a meeting with village heads and elected representatives in several areas to make people aware about facts.